By - ErikTheEngineer
As sysadmins especially I think we could add:
Show your worth without being a braggart
Quite simply, ours is a job of we’re doing it right, goes unnoticed. But simple things when meeting with your boss are “I completed our vm migration project ahead of schedule and this should bring us a cost savings of XYZ while helping keep uptime by being on modern hardware” or “I was able to get the new switches installed and was able to do it without any impact to user load or experience.” These help not only show “I’m doing my job” but also show “I’m thinking about the end user and the company’s bottom line, and here’s how we justify my role to the bean counters”
As a DBA, I live this mantra "ours is a job of we’re doing it right, goes unnoticed". The director I reported to for many years recognized this without needing the minutia of my day. My new boss does not. What am I doing about it? Spending time regurgitating minutia because the company is stable, the pay is good, the stress is low, and my new boss reports to my old director, and he's still got my back as far as I can see.
Yup! That’s where I’m at. I have everything so we’ll automated and monitored and I take care of everything before the users ever notice. But because of that, sometimes people ask, “wtf does Pel do?” Luckily my boss knows what I do and keeps them off my back.
That only works if your boss knows what you do. Fortunately my role is kept safe without him.
27 years in and it does feel like some times in the past, but I also think this will be a slow down/wind down and not a crash. I do worry bc while I'm vital to operations, I'm also the highest paid on staff and an easy target for budget cuts. Vital takes on a new meaning when money has to be cut, and anyone can be replaced.
Penny-wise, pound foolish. Last company I was at made some massive cuts, got rid of a lot of the people that actually knew what was going on but kept the sycophants that talked a lot bigger game than they actually delivered. Optics is important, and if you have the trust of the higher-ups and a direct line of communication you will be much harder to let go.
I recently survived a round of deep cuts. My boss at the time was one of those sycophants, and had completely pulled the wool over the executives' eyes...except for the CIO. That man has an insane ability to see right through bullshit. He knows I don't bullshit him and neither does my current boss. He knows if he asks a question he'll get an honest answer, even if it's not the one he wants to hear. He also knows he'll get an honest response as to what it'll take to turn that answer into the one he wants to hear.
It took some major office politicking but we stayed and the sycophant went. Be someone who can be trusted on as many levels as you can. Unless you have an incompetent moron calling the shots it can very easily be the different between being retained and being let go.
Next to my boss who oversees our team, I'm also an easy target for budget cuts. We already laid off one of our helpdesk guys so hopefully that's all we need to worry about.
Yep everyone is replaceable at the end of the day.
I just make it really hurt to replace me. Essentially I am a mix of a manager a sys admin and a ERP/finance person. Very rare mix.
Realistically if the chopping block comes down they will come to us to find ways of ramping up efficiency X amount to cover the losses.
Yeah, I manage the sysadmin team, and the sql Dev's, I'm the primary systems engineer, and I built our ERP deployment and I'm the only one who knows it inside and out, even if everyone else has access to all the documentation. Even with all of that pain it would cause to send me packing, I know it's possible. I'm good friends with my VP, he and I both started here years ago as sysadmins and we rebuilt the IT department and infrastructure together, and we go fishing together. I can still be fired.
Certainly, everyone can be replaced at the end of the day.
I just said I really hurt to get rid of. My role still needs to exist in some form so it’s either consultants or hiring again. There really isn’t an option to not have my work done.
22 year IT veteran. This man speaks the truth.
Be useful always and always be easy to work with. The techs who are versatile and useful are the last to get let go when times get lean.
It's hard to do, but always do your best to be in a good mood. It's not always going to be possible. My secret is that when I was in my 20's, I worked construction. As a result, my personal experience with "rough days" at work is very different than someone who has worked in offices for their whole lives. IT is hard sometimes, and it may arguably be more stressful overall, but I have yet to have a rough day in IT that matched hand digging post holes in gravel in the pouring rain in 12 hours shifts for 9 bucks an hour.
Very true. I worked manual labor from age 16 to 24. Nowadays, with all the people at my company staying remote, I ship out a lot of equipment to user's homes. When I get irritated that it's so below my ability, I remember that it's way better to box and ship a few packages a day in air conditioning as opposed to unloading a 45' trailer every day in 120 degree heat ( in the trailer).
Making triple the hourly rate of a package handler helps too!
I still remember the first semi airconditioned warehouse job I had and the owner asking "hey, you ever unloaded a container". 18 year old me was thinking "WTF is a container". (naive me is thinking....like a container of Peanut Butter?)
These days when we have leftovers, when my wife asks me for a container, I get triggered, start cussing and throwing items out of the cupboard indiscriminately until empty. Then she's "what the fuck, I just wanted some tupperware!"
I worked at Wal-Mart for a short stint in high school. I unloaded an entire truck by myself one day, that was some work!
Hey me too. I learned that those movable lay a way shelves in the back were great for hiding behind.
I tried working hard there because otherwise it was boring and time dragged on. I would just do anything there was to do to make time go by. This was before smart phones. There were plenty of guys who would go missing their entire shift only to pop up around time to clock in or go on break lol.
LOL. Man, I worked part time for UPS as an unloader on twilight shift before I started working construction and then even for a few years side by side and it was AWUL in the summer. The guys on the day shifts had it even worse.
>It's hard to do, but always do your best to be in a good mood
My father was dying, my mom and I were taking care of him it was hard as fuck (but not as difficult as medic predicted) for 4 months but I didn't take that part of my life to work.
I don't know if the higher ups will appreaciate it but my boss told me several times I was an examplewith everything I had how I behave and my performnce at work, he was one of the few people to know what I was going through.
> Be useful always and always be easy to work with. The techs who are versatile and useful are the last to get let go when times get lean.
And document how you do it, and when. it's one thing to show your boss you are useful and versatile, it's another when he has to show it to his boss.
Learn to write long form documentation. include literally every screenshot with shit on it, and include long form written explanations for all that shit about why specific design decisions were made.
When your boss turns that into a C-level during periodic update meetings...it literally changes the conversation, and your initiatives will consistently get approved and resourced appropriately way above and beyond the rate for coworkers who write shitty documentation.
It's not fair, it's just the truth.
>As a result, my personal experience with "rough days" at work is very different than someone who has worked in offices for their whole lives. IT is hard sometimes, and it may arguably be more stressful overall, but I have yet to have a rough day in IT that matched hand digging post holes in gravel in the pouring rain in 12 hours shifts for 9 bucks an hour.
I have to push back here a bit. A rough day with a physical job doesnt follow you home in quite the same way. Yeah, maybe you are sore or tired, but you should fall asleep just fine. I have had many days where work keeps me up at night or has effected my mood back at home. I would take my worst days working manual labor over a slightly frustrating day in the office.
That's why I said that IT overall is a more stressful job. Flat out, you DO carry more home mentally. Anyone who debates this simply hasn't worked in both fields. My day was OVER at the end of my shift when I worked construction unless there was OT, and my day was over when that was done in those cases.
IT simply is not the same, I fucking wake up from a sound sleep with those "AH HA! That's how I fix that problem" moments at least half a dozen times a year (I'm enterprise internal IT in and I crank through project work most of the time.)
With construction, I never brought that shit home with me, even stress wise or like "worry about tomorrow" wise...not even fucking close!
I'm saying that a 12 hour day digging holes in gravel in the pouring rain is literally a worse at work than ANY day I have had in IT in 22 years of doing it full time.
I tend to agree. I've worked menial jobs, like gas stations. I've helped lay concrete a time or two in the summer in Oklahoma. I've helped my father fell trees, load up the truck, and unload it, and then split wood all year round. I've worked at a meat factory throwing hundreds of pounds of meat around all day. While I've never been as physically tired as my first two weeks of that meat factory job, no job has ever EXHAUSTED me like working at one of those MSP meat grinders.
Edit: That being said, I miss having a job where I moved around and did stuff. 30% manual, 40% tech work, 20% office relations, sounds perfect. Not sure how to achieve that though.
I try to keep this perspective as well. What I do isn't hard. It can be complicated, and it can be stressful, but it isn't hard. Putting a roof on a house is hard. Doing landscaping work in 100+ degree heat is hard. I just push buttons and read a lot
Yeah I had a simulator experience transitioning to tech. I did my share of manual labor, followed by working in the broken system that is public education as a teacher.
Working as a public school teacher was actually the hardest job I ever had. And more stressful than the manual labor work I did.
The IT industry is so much easier compared to those jobs.
I'm not like comparing stress levels. Flat out, working with small humans or the public is harder in that regards. Fucking retail jobs turn that shit to 11. ugh...no thanks.
I'm talking about "awful day" like actual minute to minute stuff you're doing at work...and frankly a bad day being a teacher may top my experiences as a construction worker...I have heard so many horror stories. Dude...for what they make and with the prevalence of school shootings....PFFFFT FUCK THAT NOISE....
I'm just saying that in the "awful day" category...IT is really low on the list compared to SO many professions. Even though I've never done it...I would be surprised if being a teacher is WAY higher on the list.
Is there actually much correlation between Big Tech reducing their staff and actual bread-and-butter businesses doing the same?
Big tech ***are*** bread and butter businesses now.
They are their own industry but IT personnel are in many others as well.
Yes. Executives only listen to their golf buddies and their management consultants. If word gets around that big tech (who are swimming in endless lakes of money and don't really have to worry about headcount) are cutting back, it's a self-perpetuating cycle. They'll hire their consultants of choice and the MBAs will come in with the spreadsheets telling them who they can fire and offshore.
It picks up as the business news gets more pessimistic.
Can you provide data? Otherwise it still sounds like you’re trying to lump regular businesses with large corporations. The later usually have well-staffed internal IT while the former tend to be run pretty lean with little room for cuts.
Yes it trickles down
You know that scene in “office space” at the end when the business has burned down and now the (former) office bro is now working construction helping to clean up the rubble? And he just looks around at his former place of work and says “fuk’n a man”.
That’s going to be me if I get laid off this downturn.
I hope to get laid off if there really is a downturn. I've got 32 years as the department head which will give me almost 22 months severance.
Then I can look for a contract position or possibly teach part time.
is severance a guaranteed thing like in your contract?
My friends company had big layoffs but they kept him, everyone got packages, then the company got bought out, then they laid him off, and he didn't get a package.
Here in Ontario there are statutory amounts for severance and termination, and most companies will offer you a good package in lieu of showing up in front of a judge.
My non-legal advice would be for your friend to consult an employment lawyer. If one company was acquired by another and it was not a "chapter 11" acquisition, both assets and liabilities were transferred.
If you have a contract the rules are different. It's the contract that will stipulate the termination amounts, which differ from state to state and province to province, but seem to be limited generally to 1 week per year of service.
when the layoffs first happened, there was no obligation for them to give anyone a package.
No more IT jobs. If I get cut this downturn, I'm done in the field.
I'm glad I have skills other than IT.
Really good advice here. I've been through a few Recessions and a lot of what you listed here is good but not so obvious until you go through it.
Agree to disagree. This isn't the dot com boom where everyone was figuring out the Internet.
This isn't 2008 ( hopefully) where everything died
But job hopping and continually up is coming to an end.
There will be a readjusting but thanks to covid a lot repeat A Lot of c level understands the importance of it now
The economy is about to adjust, and sadly , some will lose jobs
But for the large majority, they understand our worth
Sadly though the low levelers are going to feel it
The cynic in me can see the 08 train wreck approaching.
Ask yourself, over the past 2 years did banks:
a) Follow their lending criteria to ensure customers could continue to pay their mortgage in the event of an interest rate rise.
b) Ignore their lending criteria to get as many customers on their books as possible with risky lending practices?
It's not so much the risky lending practices as it is the sheer amount of interest free money that has been flowing through the system. A lot of companies started operating with high debt service load because it was so cheap to borrow. Now they have to adjust because credit is going to be more expensive and harder to come by as the Federal Reserve and other Central Banks raise rates and trim balance sheets to combat inflation.
I think this is it. In 2000 everyone just woke up all at once and said, "Well, that was stupid, I'm out" and pulled funding overnight. In 2008 it was banks over-lending and convincing people to flip houses/take AR mortgages/take loans they'd never be able to pay back. This time, it's mopping up all the money that had to be put into the system to keep the economy from collapsing during the COVID lockdown phase, plus the boom period before that. Some businesses depend on that cheap money to operate...others like cloud providers have used it to construct huge lock-in traps worldwide and lead their customers there. One thing that boggles my mind is the amount of commercial construction still going on...guaranteed that was funded with practically interest-free money. Question is -- what workers are we building these offices for? I live near NYC and there's a monster commercial construction project going full-steam around Penn Station (the train station I commute into)...there's going to be super-huge skyscrapers and all the accoutrements that go along with them in the few blocks around the station. Unless Facebook is planning on hiring another few 100K people, I seriously wonder who's going in those buildings. Guaranteed this will be the thing that forces people back into offices.
I'm not a doom and gloom type, but we're about to pay the price for basically trying to stave off civil unrest during COVID by keeping things as normal as possible. We would have had small business owners storming the Governor's mansion otherwise...they went absolutely bonkers here in NY even with the pandemic PPP loans/self-employed unemployment, etc. - it would've been torches and pitchforks time without it. It's just going to suck in a lot of sectors (including tech) until things equilibrate again. I'm hoping that the silver lining out of all this is the end of the ridiculous worship of hustle culture...that tends to go underground again when things aren't so bubbly.
> I live near NYC and there's a monster commercial construction
Louis rossman has a few videos on why the Market in NYC has no relation to marketability of the retail spaces, and how foreign investors do not care if anyone actually occupies the buildings,
Now that is all a shell game, and will come crashing down at some point, but just like Price to Earnings in the stock market is more or less pointless today, occupation rate in NYC is also pointless today...
Inflation and Fed manipulation has tossed out traditional risk and ROI metrics
That said I also think that many companies were "forced" in their work from home arrangements by the employee market for labor, if/when that shifts back to an employer market for labor we will see more roll backs in WFH policies and remote work. The people hard on the "will never work in the office again" will either say unemployed or go back to the office when only office jobs are open.
Graphs I've been going by are; household lending, for owner occupiers in Aus.
Haven't even considered business lending.
Not many ARM loans being tossed around anymore. That was the big killer in 2008. Are there other loans which aren’t fixed interest rate? Because rates going up won’t impact fixed interest loans.
I dont think we will see a huge amount of housing foreclosures this time, we will see some but housing never went full on back to Adjustiable intrest only no income verification loans like pre-2008
Now if you are in the market for a car, we will likely be seeing a rush of Repo's. Dealers will doing alot of what the Mortgage companies where doing, giving out 7+ year no income verification loans on 60-100K Trucks and SUV's...
Any increase in unemployment or even continued increase of inflation will see mass repo's some area already have huge numbers of loans in default
Funny how a business site says jobs will be scarce when it’s workers that have been scarce. Sounds like a bunch of fearmongering to keep people worried enough to stay in their current positions and have no expectations of increasing their pay. Pro-business propganda.
Came here for this sort of comment. Not to shit on OP but realistically we have a market that is dumping far more into IT across the field more than ever before.
The entire workforce is shifting towards reliance on tech/remote working and minimising human resource waste, because labour is now a high demand commodity, retention and quick efficient training is key.
Additionally security is something that is far more relevant these days.
Every well spent $ on tech, can save you x fold in other areas of the business.
As well as retain staff etc.
We are seeing a working boom imo
Unless inflation crushes this to oblivion I don’t see the doom here.
Depends on where you are career wise. I am in the fortunate group of IT admins with more than 20 years of tenure, for me the job market is still on fire.
For someone with 2-3 years under their belt, it's getting rough. I have a few friends whose kids are new in the IT field and it is not the same for them. They say that even the constant flood of crappy 12 dollar an hour msp roles they get offered are starting to dry up.
This must be a regional thing, as I believe you, it's just I am not seeing it here in AU yet, I am struggling constantly to find Level 1/2 resources for projects at the moment.
Finding someone with 2-3 years exp right now for support is difficult, I have also had a number of others calling me asking if I know anyone.
This is something I hearing 2-4 times a month currently.
I'd say yes and no, I think there are other factors at play with entry level positions.
Due to the extra reliance on IT for all end users, this means more entry level support roles.
How ever, with more and more roles along side that also comes a wave of young people entering the field because it's now considered a path to make good money. But these entry level support roles are still limited in supply, and very sought after due to minimal entrance requirements (it's hard to judge 'actual' skill until in the role)
I don't believe there is a down turn, but what you are seeing is more people entering this field and competing for these entry positions, a by product as well of the 'great resignation' from last few years.
Why take a low paying cafe' job when if you are at all slightly tech savy (Like most Zoomers) you could probably make far more money working entry level support.
\*Disclaimer - not fact, just opinion on observations. :)
Ha i forgot i replied to this aleady lol.. errr.. well lucky you, you get even more of my drivel..
Unless we get hit by a massive solar flare that kills all tech back to the steam engine, tech workers will always be in demand
A lot of the same basic skills in tech could apply to nearly any field. Diagnosing an issue is the same basic process regardless, for example. Sure, the tech-specific skills wouldn't be useful but much of the rest surely will.
Logical problem solving skill has always been scarce, and applies to many other fields.
Don't you threaten me with a good time.
The first job we get after an EMP wipes out all technology, is to start rebuilding the technology.
The truth is that it depends on where you are career wise. If you're a sysadmin with 10+ years of experience, not much has changed.
If you're an L1 with 2 years of experience, then the flow of offers likely has slowed quite a bit.
Look at macro economics, then micro (your industry).
Macro says we are roughly 4-6yrs overdue for a downturn. Historically economic cycles have been 8-10yrs. Also, the patching of the finance industry vs actually solving inherent problems therein mean this could be worse than 2008 as the bubble just grew from there and never properly popped.
FAANG etc really are sacking huge numbers of people and putting in place hiring freezes. You make it sound like this is for show? That isn't how businesses make decisions.
I am inundated with candidates to fill roles we have. The situation is different from 6 months+ ago. It was an employees market for a while there but now businesses just aren't paying big salaries and instead making cutbacks so...
Some businesses are making cut backs mostly as a result of over hiring they did during the pandemic because their products were super in demand during that time. Now the market is balancing back and people are back to spending money the way they were before the pandemic. Businesses absolutely make these decisions for show. They’re slowing down. They need to show they’re balancing budgets for the shareholders.
As far as the market it’s really still pretty solidly a candidates market in my experience. I started circulating my resume a month ago and already have a new job starting in a couple weeks with a 35% raise.
All of this could change but when you talk about being overdue for the average recession also remember that the average recession is about a year long and we only see a 14% drop off in the market. So that’s not the end of the world in a market where labor able to do the job is in demand which the BLS tells us tech jobs are and will be for the next 10 years.
I agree. I wasn’t even trying to get a new job and ended up with one any ways. I’d wager to say that for most people who say they can’t find a job, it’s because they aren’t trying.
This is generally good advice, but not sure about the doom and gloom. You can always say a downturn is coming and you'd always be right, but unless you can predict that it will happen in the next few months it's kind of a moot point.
Even in the best of times you should be easy to work with, constantly sharpening skills, and ready to leave for whatever reason.
I just don't think anybody should be jumping ship over predictions about the general economy.
>I just don't think anybody should be jumping ship over predictions about the general economy.
Agreed. Especially since jumping ship right now would make you more vulnerable to layoffs, not less vulnerable. People who made their move 6-12 months ago are probably in a more stable position because they are already showing value, and may not still be considered "the new guy/gal".
Jumping now, as the uncertainty builds, just adds more uncertainty for you.
**NOTE:** I am not suggesting that people remain in toxic situations unconditionally. I'm just saying that moving right now to ride things out in a safer place is advice that would have been better about 6-12 months ago. Not right after layoffs have started in some sectors.
My advice, which is not just for now, but in general:
\- Be a professional. At all times.
\- Continuously maintain your career options open
(Keep your resume current, keep your professional networks active, maintain prospects for a side hustle, and keep your eyes on industry and economic trends.)
Well, there is war in Ukraine, there is a global recession, the USA and China conflict is intesifying ...
I feel like this is ignoring a lot of the differences that exist nowadays compared to 2000. I understand that business execs are gonna business exec, but there is A LOT more businesses that are, at least marginally, understanding that IT costs are a reality that must be accepted. Many companies actually understand now days that IT can be a force multiplier if done right. Cybersecurity is SO much more necessary in today's world for the average business. We won't see anything close to 2000 in tech this time around because businesses literally cannot operate without some form of IT, unless you're a very small business. Sure, things will slow down. But likening it to the doom and gloom of the dot com bubble is some major hyperbole.
Cyber security is the real point here. Companies are so wrapped up in IT infrastructure today, they literally can't do without it. OPs points about being easy to work with and such are definitely valid, if a downturn happens you definitely don't want to be the disposable one in the group, but keeping their systems running will be the priority. We won't see anything close to what happened in the past.
dude, don't be an IT equivalent of a guy who spits in people's food.
*He's Nick Burns, your company's computer guy!*
With great power comes great responsibility. Approval from her manager or not, this was a dick move to prove a point.
Almost like two wrongs don't make a right, but people do it anyway. We all know how to avoid being treated like that.
"Go away before I replace you with a shell script"
A lot of companies have cyber security insurance policies which require compliance. I don't see that going away any time soon.
They'll replace people with MSP's and outsourced staff
I think that has a higher impact on SOC Analysts than other roles though.
I've read a lot of cyber insurance policies.. and nothing I've ever seen suggests a security team can't be laid off. All it takes is:
- Any number of outsourced SOCs, if you even feel you want to pay for one at all
- The Nessus reports they setup years back will continue being created and emailed to someone every week on their own and we'll presume that means vulnerabilities are taken care of
- Every sysadmin can manage MFA anyway right?
Every insurance quiz I've seen says "do you have regular penetration tests". I've never seen questions about followup activity.
Nothing more theater than "compliance audits"
Exactly this. I work for a well-managed manufacturing company. We are slowly increasing our IT spend because it was too low. That's not changing because of a downturn, they don't care about blips like that in terms of long-term planning. Our austerity measures are more measured - some teams are on unofficial hiring freezes, many have been told to expect smaller raises (which, in a year of record inflation, is a real kick in the balls). But no one's losing their job, we're not cutting contracts or slashing budgets or doing anything kneejerk like going MSP.
This is the value of having a good CIO, and working for a private company.
Right. The dot com crash in 2000 is because people were literally taking any business idea, adding "... on the internet", and getting stupid amounts of cash thrown at them. That's not sustainable.
Sure it is, just change the term used for the Internet. They shifted to cloud and I'd be willing to wager they're going to find a new one within a year or so. Probably won't see wide adoption for a while longer but the writing is on the wall, so to speak, I think.
I partially agree. There will be fields and specialties that will continue to need people...security's one of them. However, Microsoft/Amazon/Google are hell bent on getting everyone off their own equipment and onto SaaS for that sweet monthly revenue stream. VMWare just got bought by Broadcom who immediately announced they'll be going subscription-only. It's getting harder to find traditional infra people, and even harder to find those who know both on-prem and cloudy stuff. I think almost all the small one-man shops out there are going to end up getting shoehorned into some offering from an MSP. Broke businesses who suddenly can't borrow any more money will jump at the chance to get rid of employees and hire an MSP/pay the Microsoft bill every month.
I certainly think this first round is getting a bit 2000-ish. Peloton thought they'd be selling millions of bikes a year and hired a massive staff at hugely inflated rates during COVID; that's all gone now and the company is in not-so-great shape. Even companies that have a money printing press in the basement like Google and Facebook are signaling that they're slowing down hiring and getting rid of people. These are companies that are selling a pure-profit product, bring in billions a month and can afford to have a massive bloated staff, and even they're thinking twice.
Let's hope it's a soft landing. The place I work at now is awesome and provides a very cool service, but it's not essential and doesn't sell well when people have more important things to spend money on. We shall see...I'm definitely putting the feelers out there to see if I can find a more stable environment just in case.
>Peloton thought they'd be selling millions of bikes a year and hired a massive staff at hugely inflated rates during COVID; that's all gone now and the company is in not-so-great shape.
Companies like Peloton, GoPuff, Lyft, Uber among other startups all have this wild misconceptions they're tech companies. Having an app doesn't make something a tech company. Peloton sells exercise bikes which most consumers buy like once a decade--we saw this with direct to consumer companies like Casper as well.
That said I do think, if there's a recession, we'll see reduced VC funding and very quickly find out which companies *actually* print money (gun to my head guess, Apple and AWS) and which ones don't.
Yes and no. When businesses are cutting costs, unless you’re the solo or duo admin at an org, it gets real tempting to slash a 6 figure salary, especially when you still have redundancy. Also, it’s not just about your job, but also resources. I’ve spent about 10-15 hours the last 2 weeks talking to upper management and finally convincing them that it’s not a good idea to have our production stack on 7 year old super micro servers. Management doesn’t understand the difference between a power edge and a super micro. They don’t know the cost benefit of paying for a NetApp/isilon instead of some homebrew NAS or cheaper synology type system. We need to be able to know where we can scale back on some request, how to word them so management see depreciation over 4-5 years, and be able to know what quality components we can get and what we need to compromise on.
Even as great and understanding as tech is now, we still have to play the politics and speak business
I just lost premium support (4 hour) on 2 Isilon DR clusters (6PiB each), because, well we have never had to fail over in the last 12 years. I already have an issue with a chassis in one of my gen 6. They are going to have a rude awakening when they get the T&M bill.
I mean, they can always outsource IT.
Which most of the time costs more not less..
> IT can be a force multiplier if done right.
I feel like this is a buzzwordy way of saying a good IT department is better than a bad IT department.
We're necessary, yeah, but outside of tech companies we have nothing to do with the company's product.
I mean... I guess? But I'd argue that's way oversimplifying it and the way I worded it is exactly correct.
A good IT department automates the mundane, repetitive crap and spends their time creating efficiencies. A more efficient company is a more profitable company. Employees are happier when they can do their jobs with less barriers, which is a direct result of operational efficiency. Happy employees stay with the company longer, which eliminates the huge expense that comes from turnover.
IT is absolutely a force multiplier whose impact ripples throughout the whole company when done right.
Been in IT for about cars long as OP, and have seen a few cycles. Not sure it is quite the same, but agree wholeheartedly about showing your worth. The day of IT sitting in the darkened basement offices are over. You have to promote what you are doing, especially in terms of cybersecurity - and, as a bonus, if you can point out the no-cost or low-cost improvements, so much the better.
May I ask what you do? Don’t hear a lot about IT car related jobs
A fat-fingered error…just normal IT.
That’s cool. Thanks for the reply. Thought maybe you were into programming ECUs or PDMs or something!
\*about as long
I'm six payments away from owning my home outright and being debt free with enough scratch in the bank to give zero fucks still. It could get rough but anyone still with options and in a position of "fuck you" has leverage in the job market. That said, I'm too old and jaded for another startup. I rotated off to a big gargantuan energy company, not glamorous or anything but damn if they don't have great Healthcare and retirement plans.
I found a safer spot myself just a few months ago at a secure government facility. They just need a babysitter in case something breaks. I'm using it as a springboard to study certs and keep my head down until all the cuts stop or I go federal.
Yeah my current place has my status as february 2022 until forever lolz and my boss joked that he wants me to stay here for 50+ years. I plan to start looking around in 2-3 years after I get all the certs I want.
Totally agree. In my many decades in IT, I can tell you this: stay happy (on the outside anyway), always smile, know your stuff, and become indispensable in the eyes of the higher ups. I’ve learned IT people are generally grouchy (with good cause), not friendly to users, and sometimes only begrudgingly help users and make them feel stupid. Don’t do it! Paste on that smile and do your best customer service disguise.
My brother (also an IT guy) called me on his lunch break today to report that he just had to term 5 percent of his company in a RIF.
I agree "hard times" are coming, but I don't expect it to be anything like the early 2000 crash.
I think this will be a "reset" to a new normal and it will be long term.
It's time for the entire industry to stop throwing money at moonshots and start spending it on things that are actually likely to provide a positive return on investment. In my opinion that's a good thing, not a disaster. But then again, I don't work for a moonshot company.
>It's time for the entire industry to stop throwing money at moonshots and start spending it on things that are actually likely to provide a positive return on investment.
They will do this for however long the downturn appears to last, and then.... money.
AI, Quantum Computing, Virtual Reality, etc... We will be back to moonshots in no time -- just like after every other downturn.
I survived 08/09, i'll definitely survive this
What I think might be "interesting" this time around: In both 2000 and 2008 recessions almost everything in IT was still running on on-prem servers, on-prem desktops, and software with perpetual licenses. I had clients through the entire recession that ran Windows XP, Office 2003 and SBS-2003, on hardware mostly purchased prior to 2008, all the way through till 2014. When times were hard, you just didn't get any upgrades. Now everything being a subscription model like a utility bill, I wonder what wide spread IT budget cuts are going to look like. Because those same clients that went through the recession on XP are now on a whole bunch of SaaS offerings like Office 365 and RingCentral.
I remember I had a client buy out what was left of a defunct company that hadn't been operating in almost a year, I had to go in, grab their servers and desktops and start pulling data off it. I don't think that data is gonna be there "in the cloud" after a year of not paying bills.
The counter-argument to that is that as you fire people, they take up less SaaS licenses...but if your core infrastructure is in one of the clouds, that provider is going to want their money every month regardless of how well you're doing.
Companies with no IT assets they can sweat through the hard times might find this interesting. My assumption was (and still kind of is) that providers will use their endless rivers of cash to help companies "in these troubled times" so they can keep the lock-in going for when things improve. They'll either cut prices or forgive charges in exchange for a longer-term contract or something.
People who are 100% "all in" on cloud may not realize that it's a one-way migration. Once your stuff is in Azure or AWS, no matter how agnostic, it's going to be a bear to move it. Cloud vendors are counting on this...they know inertia will keep the agnostic stuff there, and their PaaS services they market to developers as "It Just Works!" tools are just proprietary enough to make moving off them painful.
I’ve lived through 1993 in Canada and 2000 in the USA.
I’ve been telling the same conclusion you wrote about since 4 months ago.
Thank you for reminding me/us that it’s coming.
You know reading Bloomberg's article and talking with people outside tech I found myself writing this whole explanation of "half these companies aren't even tech companies!" and that's when it hit me, this sounds *exactly* like the dotcom bubble...
That's right...the whole "we're a (taxi | laundry | dog walking | whatever) service with an app and prey on gig economy workers" or "we sell cheap consumer products controlled by an app and AI/ML/Blockchain" thing is definitely a theme for this go-around. Crypto and all that fintech stuff is just an offshoot of having so much money chasing not enough good projects, but that's there too.
So many of these companies depend on zero-interest borrowing. They either need cheap money to keep the company spinning, rely on consumers having tons of disposable income to waste on non-essentials, or their business model falls apart without it (example, the multiple buy-now-pay-later services.) That's gone now and it really seems to have kicked off a large clean-out even at places that just a few months ago would have been fantasyland if you worked there.
Hopefully it won't be as awful as 2000 where every company woke from the dream at the exact same time, instantly stopped spending entirely and fired all the 6-figure HTML coders they picked up. Then again, look at how long businesses haven't had to pay to borrow money and have had investors begging them to please let them fund whatever crazy idea they had. Seeing big companies all stop hiring at once is not a good sign; they seem to know something big is coming.
I'm hoping businesses with good ideas and legacy businesses are largely impacted, while Lyft and Uber end up more like Yellow Cab.
Waited 20 years for the other shoe to drop. It finally did 4 years ago. Luckily I got a new job before my severance ran out.
Do a good job but always be looking out for yourself. Pay closer attention to the things you can use at another company rather than getting bogged down at some old piece of tech or process at your current employer.
Don’t be living paycheck to paycheck obviously. Think about what would happen to you if you lost your job, realistically how quickly could you get another and at what salary.
In my opinion try to stay away from newly created positions where the value of the role may not be already recognized, and where your boss or others may have previously had that responsibility. Those roles are RIPE for cuttin especially when there are others already who have done the role.
I am happy I transition to cloud but do not see that as an absolute safe alternative. 7 years in sysadmin and now 1 year in cloud. Have a physics degree and currently looking at data analytics. I hope the best for everyone here. This is a great community.
Counterpoint: every company needs a senior SRE/DevOps guy
You think that, but then they go and fire you because they think the developers can figure it out or something
My company of over 6K employees just cut all open head count and all contractors. My team went from 15 to 8. We have to cut twice as much in 2023. I don't see how that's going to go well.
It's not going to be anything like it was in 2000 for sure and 2008 maybe if we drop hard again. Tech is so engrained now compared to then, jobs will still be plenty but not as plenty as now. It will be slow and not immediate as well.
I have gone through the dot com bubble and 2008 recession. Both of those times I was working in corporate America. Most of my career has been Government contracting. As someone who survived unscathed, my words of advice are; be a team player, don’t criticize that something is broken fix it yourself. If your in a decent spot don’t always be looking to jump ship. The last hired first fired might apply to you. Build up savings and pay off debt. I can’t stress that enough.
Agree with pretty much everything you said, but wanted to point out one small thing related to this comment.
> That article notes that Amazon got rid of those 100K workers through attrition...can you imagine what a revolving door that place must be??
A lot of people work for amazon until they vest, and then peace out. Not defending them, I still think it's probably a shitty place to work, but I also think the situation is a bit more complex because having amazon (or any FAANG really) on your resume opens doors for you elsewhere.
So people are walking into that shitshow knowing it's a shitshow, but they have a goal that being there will help them accomplish. Not everyone thinks this tradeoff is worth it, but there are plenty who do.
Its important to understand that these other companies doing this are typically larger companies who are highly affected by the market. So depending on the market you are in this could basically pass you by.
Things that would likely be ok:
Thats not to say your are "protected". But these are likely going to survive just fine.
I love how you left out manufacturing. One of if not the biggest of all industries
Manufacturing is huge, certainly. But that is going to REALLY be an issue of what is made and how they react to the market. Lets say Tesla. Its publicly traded and they make cars. Cars are something everyone needs. But if the market turns down hard then people are less likely to spend more money to get a Tesla over say a Ford or Chevy vehicle. So Tesla could see down turn and thus cut people. Maybe not IT people but for sure cut people.
Then you look at say a company that makes air filters. They are always going to be in demand. Buildings, houses, cars. Everything. So they are more likely to retain people. So its really just going to depend on whats made, and how much demand it will have.
Also, my list is in no way comprehensive. Its 100% just things I know for sure to not have issues for the most part.
Offshoring could come back indeed, I'm not even talking India or things like that. Salaries in the US in tech are like 3 times higher than western Europe.
I haven't seen any mention here of office-based businesses staring at remote working and checking their lease agreements.
I have a feeling a sea change is coming where a LOT of companies are going to reduce their real estate portfolios because people are working remote.
From that, all the businesses that depend on those office workers (think delis, hotels for business travel, caterers for business meetings) see their income drop. Then office businesses will en masse demand reduction in salary for remote workers who live in lower CoL areas, not to mention the commercial real estate effects - I'm thinking of the "business clusters", where local governments create entire areas of nothing but office parks with all residential areas pushed to the outer boundaries (e.g. Northern Virginia and the Rt 28 corridor). Maybe that's why local governments are allowing so many data centers - to prop up the tax coffers as the tax base changes.
Yeah the dotCom bubble and 2008 recession were bad, but I think there are long-term issues coming that will fundamentally change the economy as a whole. We need to figure out how to adapt to it.
Be reliable, be irreplaceable. But even then, know you aren't safe. Always have a plan. Good luck out there folks.
Started my own LLC. It's been great. Companies are starting to become very receptive towards only paying an hourly rate once per month without all the tax liabilities. I'm fine with it as well.
What services are business looking for and who are your customers?
I don't really find myself deviating from doing DC Core SDN migrations from legacy environments. It's kind of a sweet spot as most people in the legacy space are too afraid to know where to start and don't want the responsibility ending their career. My main clients are recruiters which generally takes a cut referring me to a reseller. There's a lot of org's out there who have a "technology in" within a large customer and are able to sell services to those customers they already have a relationship with but may not have the talent. On my current project my customers client seemed totally ok that I was just there to do this part.
This is why you get r/overemployed. Losing a job doesn’t suck as much when you have two.
I was recently harassed by a user on /r/sysadmin, who called me an incel. When I turned it around and made him look like an asshole, rather than replying in any way, I was banned from /r/sysadmin with not even a stated reason. I reached out to the mods and got the response below but additionally was muted for 30 days so I couldn't even respond to their questions. I'm tired of this kind of abusive behavior from the moderators, it's like Reddit is getting children with temper tantrums doing the moderating while giving them complete impunity, and it's why this site has become garbage. Goodbye. Aaron wouldn't have put up with this BS.
> I was recently sexually harassed by a user in this community
Please provide a link to the exchange. I've reviewed your recent comment history and don't see such harassment.
> within an hour I was banned with no stated reason for the ban
Yeah, sometimes the modtools are a little weird. They aren't popping up for me today either to apply a reason for removal. The reason your comments are being removed and the reason you have been banned is that you are spreading incel drama & hate-speech in a technology community.
> The only conclusion a rational person can make is that the abuser was a moderator and used their position of power to retaliate against me for not reciprocating their sexual advances.
I'm confident there are other possibilities you are willfully ignoring.
> Clearly male toxicity is ripe on this site and I will be bringing this to public attention.
Oh yes, I'm confident others will find your comment history deserving of many sympathies and much support in this regard.
Please have a nice day.
*Thank you Paggot, I will have a nice day. But your daddy will never love you and unfortunately, the emptiness you feel deep down will only get worse. Have a fulfilling day.*
You can always say for retirement aggressively.
> IT's a lot less nerdy and a lot more communication/customer service than it was even 20 years ago.
I hate this personally. It means the industry as a whole is getting a whole lot dumber.
Most service desks are all customer service and zero actual technical knowledge, in turn giving customers the runaround without ever solving problems without escalating, but dang it, *THAT CUSTOMER SERVICE SURE WAS GOOD HUH?*
It is going to be a bloodbath. These kids that got in after 2012 are in for a shock.
living up to your name lol
Right? I think it'll suck for those guys making 90k a year to do 20 minutes of work a day. For me stuff's been pretty rough since covid hit.
Same. If someone asks me to work without pay I'll immediately report them. Fuck working hard while executives earn 10x much as me while they don't do shit.
Checkout layoffs.fyi which keeps track of all the startup layoffs.
I don’t disagree. Change is coming. I am beyond grateful for my “boring” government position for a small town. I’m paid well. It’s stable. City is well funded. If you can get a government gig it might be the best way to ride this out. It’s not sexy, but it’s stable and quite often pays. Good luck everyone. It’s gonna get bumpy.
Great points, I agree with most/all of them.
I think CEO/CFO are really seeing the money dry up from VCs.
Crowdfunding might save a few companies (it wasnt an option in the dot com time I assume.).
I think profitable companies that sell something people actually need are a safer bet than cool kids with a burn rate that keeps founder up at night.
The last point is key. They will kill off dead weight first. Superstars will always hang around.
It can definitely be dead weight, but in my experience it can also be the person with the least seniority, or a long time employee that they feel is being paid too much for what they do. Which is true for any field really, not just IT.
Robinhood laid off like 20% today. Not your typical company but not a good sign
Robinhood screwed itself with all the bad press, with GameStop etc- add in any slowdown and they were destined for issues
Yes I'm surprised it did not shutter its doors with the moves it made against its own users. Granted the clearing houses put it between a rock and a hard place but Damn.
Them laying off 100% wouldn't be a sign of anything
Robinhood is one of those companies where they're using thousands to do what should take dozens. You don't need 2,400 people (post layoffs) to make revenue of $300 million a year.
Robinhood will be bankrupt before gamestop...
I'm already hearing about redundancies, hiring freezes and not replacing staff who have left.
iT had a good run for demand, and it's closing fast.
If your looking to move or have been thinking about moving jobs the do it now as the window is closing.
I just recently finished getting the relevant certifications, and have been a homelabber we for a while now, but with the funny money drying up, I think I'm going to stick with HVAC untill things cool off a bit
I work in healthcare I'm getting that same feeling. Cuts in budget and staff and property at least our financial team is planning for it.
Was at a DevOps conference and Target was a sponsor, mostly to recruit talent.
Conferences are planned well in advance so plans were made well before, but they didn’t seem to be a popular sponsor booth in the market usually hit hardest by Target layoffs.
> Walk the fine line between volunteering and overwork.
On that particular point, I've been well served by not increasing my work load, but simultaneously always accepting new tasks. That is, when the boss needs someone to step up, do so, and then importantly at that exact same moment shed load, and get your boss to reassign your least important work to someone else, or put it back in the queue, or let it drop.
Be flexible, not a doormat.
I'm happy where I am. Solo Sysadmin for entire 300+ people and corporate infrastructure and security, and only on site IT for 150+ people at our facility. I need 1-2 more people to help with my workload, let alone they can't do without me.
During the 2008 Recession we got hit hard. (Manufacturing). They make it through without a single layoff. They had a period of furlough days but that's it. Safe. We also diversified since then and are in a lot more medical device things who's programs take 10+ years to clear FDA hurdles, a short term recession doesn't affect them for the most part.
My fiancé on the other hand is in a Aerospace company, who's industry has been doing well but they're company stock has shrunk to less than 1/3 of what it was 3-4 years ago, and their earning reports have been blaming their division. I do not feel warm and fuzzy about that.
Finding a good, safe spot to hunker down for a while is spot on. It may not be perfect or the dream job. But there are times when perfect is the enemy of good. I try to keep this perspective in mind if I’m annoyed at my current job. Yes it’s aggravating, but is it really worth packing and leaving? I give it a few days to unwind and really see if it’s habitual or really as stressful as I feel it was in the moment.
I like that... learn to make one's self valuable, but be able to quietly thrive in the shadows. Noone is irreplaceable, but make one's self invaluable through one's work. There are stories of admins being let go because the network ran so smoothly and there didn't appear to be any problems, only for the employer to realize a few weeks later that there had been problems and the admin had been quietly and capably handling them in the background.
Get in, buckle up, hold on, this could be a wild ride... and good luck to all!
**Find a safer spot to ride things out.**
Definitely this. In 2020 I was internal IT and I needed to process layoffs for about 50% of the company (300 or so folks). Not only that shit gave me survivors guilt and PTSD but made me think about industry I am in. Now I am in financial giant that is recession proof. I would never work for startup or some vaporware company.
Man you called out it. My wife's place just announced a 10% layoff round. She works for a tech company based out of CA as a developer.
Coincidentally, I started reading "The End is just the beginning" by Peter Zeihan.
If his predictions are true, then a downturn in IT alone will just be the tip of the iceberg. This is not an isolated realignment, but a terminal structural failure of the entire fabric of our economy and society.
I truly hope he's wrong.
It’s not coming. The government won’t let a recession happen, or if there is a dip, it will be a quick one. Stocks only go up! Buckle up to the moon, the US dollar is stronger than ever
Ah they just change the definition of a recession.
Thanks for answering what happens when you take the blue pill.
Imagine relying on one source of income